Calico's Reviews > Death & Magic

Death & Magic by Steven J. Pemberton
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it was amazing

Steven manages to convincingly pull you into an intricate world filled with magic, secrets, murders and lies. Within the first few pages I was already immersed into Adramal's world, and dragged into the inner workings of her mind with the help of Lelsarin, a strange girl like creature whose existence is shrouded in even more mystery the further the story goes.
Everything in the story is there for a reason, and Adramal is thrown into the very middle of Kyer Altamar's problems - the murders! After proving her innocence, she is then enlisted to go undercover at her new school - Kyturil, the Wizard's school - in order to find out which of her teachers, if any, may have committed the murders. With the help of Perinar, the quiet, shy librarian dubbed 'Inkstain', Adramal must sneak, lie and bribe her way closer to the answer, only for her world to then be turned quite literally upside down.

This story kept me guessing, and I didn't know the identity of the murderer until the very end. Every other chapter I was second guessing myself and accusing a different character based on the evidence in front of me. The subtle foreshadows and detail is what makes this story, and it's only when re-reading that I noticed subtle little things which before I had overlooked, or some information which back then hadn't clicked in my mind. Each character has its own charm and personality which becomes endearing, and even a few characters that you want to punch :D. I love the fact that this story isn't all 'doom and gloom' and 'super serious' like some stories I have read, but actually has a few funny moments that made me laugh out loud, intended or not. Because of this, the serious bits were emphasized.

The only thing I wanted to see more of was Perinar: - he is such an amazing little character and I often felt like he was holding stuff back, or that he wasn't being completely himself. I wish I could've seen more of him, either blossoming into a full blown individual, or interacting outside of Adramal. The ending was also heartbreaking, and some part of me wishes there had been a different ending, but all in the same sense, I understand why this had to come to pass.

All in all, I loved this book and cannot wait to read the others.
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